Sarah Brooks, a 34-year-old mom of a 6-month-old baby, became the latest parent in the state of Indiana to be arrested for raising her child — or more accurately, not raising her child — in a filth-filled home so repulsive that no self-respecting adult could live there. And certainly not a helpless child.
But such cases of children forced to live in nightmare conditions that have more in common with the inside of a trash dumpster than a livable home are becoming alarmingly frequent — and for some reason, the state of Indiana has seen several similar cases just in the first eight months of 2015.
In fact, nationwide, recent years have seen a highly disturbing trend of parents who live in extreme squalor, subjecting their kids to conditions so deplorable that to call them “unhealthy” would be a severe understatement.
How could any parent let their living space get as disgustingly unsanitary as the home in which police found Sarah Brooks and her baby on Sunday? The reason, experts say, usually comes down to drug use.
While police did not find any drugs or drug paraphernalia in Sarah Brooks’ home, they investigated the place — where Brooks and her child were staying with the homeowner, who was not publicly named but clearly shares the responsibility for the home’s conditions — because the state’s Department of Child Services received a complaint that the occupants were using drugs with a child present in the home.
But when the Indiana State Police arrived at the home Clarksville, an Indiana town of about 27,000 just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, what they did find was stomach turning.
Though the temperature outdoors was a sweltering 91 degrees, officers reported that the temperature indoors was even hotter, according to a report in southern Indiana’s Evening News And Tribune newspaper. The front door was wide open and after the officers knocked, a visibly inebriated Brooks answered the door.
Brooks told the officers that her slurred speech was simply the result of prescription medications, and she refused to submit to a drug test. But the condition of the home alone was enough to get the mom arrested
Swarms of flies infested the place, which was littered with molding, rotten food, dirty diapers, and so much clutter and garbage that the officers had difficulty just walking around the place.
They entered a bathroom that was engulfed in a stifling stench — and found the sink filled with human feces. Brooks told the cops that she and the owner of the home used the sink as a toilet because the home had no working plumbing.
Perhaps most appalling of all, the 6-month-old infant, Brooks confessed, had not been taken to a doctor since birth and suffered from a painful diaper rash. Officers removed the baby from the hellish home and placed in foster care while Sarah Brooks was booked on a felony child neglect charge.
[Image: Indiana State Police]